I’ll never forget the first time I stumbled upon the idea of garnishing a cocktail with onions. I mean, seriously? Onions in a martini? It sounded like the oddest combination ever, and I’m talking about Gibson Martini.
The Gibson Cocktail, often simply referred to as a “Gibson,” is a classic cocktail that is essentially a variation of the classic Martini. The difference between Gibson and Classic Martini is a garnish. Gibson Martini is a martini garnished with onions instead of olives or a lemon twist. It consists of one or two cocktail onions on a cocktail pick.
The combination of the tangy onions, the botanical notes of the gin, and the citrusy zing blended together in a way that was both unexpected and delightful. I was blown away by how well the flavors complemented each other. Here is how to make a Gibson Martini:
Gibson – a Martini with Onions
- 2 1/2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- Cocktail onion for garnish e.g. pearl onion or pickled onions
- Ice cubes
- Cocktail pick or skewer
- Fill the glass it with ice and letting it sit while you prepare the cocktail. This helps keep your Gibson cocktail cold.
- Take a cocktail pick or skewer and skewer a cocktail onion.
- In a mixing glass, add the gin and dry vermouth. You can adjust the proportions to suit your taste, but the classic Gibson uses a 5:1 ratio of gin to vermouth. Add ice cubes to the mixing glass.
- Stir the gin and vermouth mixture gently but thoroughly. The goal is to chill the ingredients and slightly dilute them without over-diluting or bruising the spirits. Stir for about 20-30 seconds.
- Discard the ice from the chilled cocktail glass. Strain the stirred mixture into the glass, using a strainer to catch any small ice chips.
- Add your skewered cocktail onion to the cocktail. The onion is the hallmark of a Gibson and gives it a unique twist compared to a classic Martini.
While the Martini Onions Gibson recipe is a timeless favorite, you can still try other variations and modern interpretations:
- Dirty Gibson Martini: This version adds a splash of the brine from the cocktail onion jar to make it “dirty,” similar to a dirty martini.
- Gibson 50/50: In this version, equal parts gin and dry vermouth are used to create a milder, less alcoholic cocktail.